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Author Topic: Staying until I know for sure I'm done  (Read 539 times)
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2022, 02:59:18 PM »

A very similar situation happened to me about 8 weeks ago. She came home drunk, woke me up, started a fight with me - which woke the baby up. I picked up the baby and she went into a paranoid fear/rage of me leaving with the baby. I was not planning on leaving.

I was slowly walking in circles with the baby and she came up behind me and when I turned around, she punched me hard below the belt. I doubled over, still holding the baby.

It was the first time she'd hit me like that. She had vaguely threatened me with a knife before - maybe with a screwdriver (like you) now that I think about it. I could see this behavior was escalating.

In this moment (just 8 weeks ago) I thought how will I know if it's gone too far? Am I injured now? Not really. But I could have dropped the baby. He was 4 months old. What age is too old for him to see her punching me? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? Also, how much physical violence is too much? A small punch? A screwdriver? A knife?

I took my chances and called the police. Just like your situation, she demanded to hold the baby and wouldn't let me have him back. I waited an agonizingly long time for the police to show up - over an hour. She was asleep on the couch when the police arrived. I was soooo tempted at that point to tell them "it's all over now - nothing to see here". But I didn't. I told them she punched me. She was asleep on the couch, so they kind of rolled their eyes at me like "you're threatened by this woman who is asleep with a baby?" They woke her up and interviewed her. She tried to say I assaulted her. Luckily for me, they made the correct decision to take her to jail overnight.

I moved out the next day before she got out of jail. I left her a couch to sleep on and some basic supplies. Started custody proceedings. Every step of the way, I've been tempted to go back to the way things were, but so far I'm still moving forward and it's getting easier. There are some emotional steps backward as you mention, but I see what you mean by "two steps forward, one step back".

It's so difficult. Your story brought back vivid memories that I've been repressing from just a short time ago.

Good luck with whatever you decide - we support you.
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2022, 03:21:27 PM »

You never know precisely what may develop in the future.  What we can predict — unless she starts meaningful therapy and diligently applies it in her life — is that it will gradually get worse and then more worse.  Why?  Because that was your past pattern (and ours too).

Can I ask a question?  Didn't your relationship start relatively well but gradually worsened over the years?  That is precisely why I declared above that it *will* continue getting worse and worse if you continue the relationship.  Learning better communication skill will be helpful but the elephant in the room would still be there.

Sure, you can build stronger Boundaries (see the Boundary and other topics over on our Tools and Skills Workshop board)* but over time you'll notice that there are repeated attempts to sidestep or weaken them.

* People with BPD (pwBPD) resist boundaries so what we encourage is that you set boundaries for yourself.  A very simple example is "If you do or don't do ___ then *I* will do or not do ___."  See?  You're not telling them what to do, which they would fight, you're stating what you will do if your boundary is violated.  Make sense?

Think of two fighters in a boxing ring.  (Not that you want to fight, of course, but doesn't that result to some extent anyway?)  The fight continues for many rounds until someone gets knocked senseless or knocked out.  You getting back on the endless up-and-down roller coaster is comparable to that.  Right now the cars have returned to the platform... do you get back on?

A very similar situation happened to me about 8 weeks ago. She came home drunk, woke me up, started a fight with me - which woke the baby up. I picked up the baby and she went into a paranoid fear/rage of me leaving with the baby. I was not planning on leaving.

I was slowly walking in circles with the baby and she came up behind me and when I turned around, she punched me hard below the belt. I doubled over, still holding the baby.

It was the first time she'd hit me like that. She had vaguely threatened me with a knife before - maybe with a screwdriver (like you) now that I think about it. I could see this behavior was escalating.

In this moment (just 8 weeks ago) I thought how will I know if it's gone too far? Am I injured now? Not really. But I could have dropped the baby. He was 4 months old. What age is too old for him to see her punching me? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? Also, how much physical violence is too much? A small punch? A screwdriver? A knife?

I took my chances and called the police. Just like your situation, she demanded to hold the baby and wouldn't let me have him back. I waited an agonizingly long time for the police to show up - over an hour. She was asleep on the couch when the police arrived. I was soooo tempted at that point to tell them "it's all over now - nothing to see here". But I didn't. I told them she punched me. She was asleep on the couch, so they kind of rolled their eyes at me like "you're threatened by this woman who is asleep with a baby?" They woke her up and interviewed her. She tried to say I assaulted her. Luckily for me, they made the correct decision to take her to jail overnight.

I moved out the next day before she got out of jail. I left her a couch to sleep on and some basic supplies. Started custody proceedings. Every step of the way, I've been tempted to go back to the way things were, but so far I'm still moving forward and it's getting easier. There are some emotional steps backward as you mention, but I see what you mean by "two steps forward, one step back".

That was almost a carbon copy of my experience 16 years ago.  Spouse raging, preschooler crying, DV threats ("I will kill you!"), I called police, they came, she was angry but posed as the victim, I was asked hand my son quietly sobbing in my arms over to his mother and "step away" (my divorce lawyer had been a policeman and said I would have been carted away if not also arrested) but my son shrieked and clung tighter to me.  Fortunately it was one of the times I had recorded and so in court she had to admit she had threatened my life.  Unfortunately the judge declared her Not Guilty since she didn't have a weapon in her hands.  At least it was clear who was the aggressor and who was the victim.  That was the End of our marriage.
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2022, 01:51:20 AM »

I will read through this thread thoroughly later, thank you all for helping! Going back to this first reply, this is my problem:

The danger however, is that you will forget what has brought you to the point in the first place.

I forget.

In this most recent example the timeline was like this:
Thursday evening: The violent episode in which S2 was involved. The adrenaline was pumping, I wanted her to feel the consequences of her actions. I didn’t say or do anything hurtful, the most severe offense on my part was threatening to call 911.
Friday morning/day: Emotional hangover, confusion, visited the DV shelter just to prove to myself that I could take action although the adrenaline wasn’t involved.
Friday evening: Took our kids to a sleepover to my wife’s parents, it was planned in advance. My wife was mild and somewhat remorseful. She spoke about how she thinks that from now on we will be fine, “something fell in place”, to quote her literally.
Saturday: Her calm and mild mood continued, the whole day I was constantly debating with myself whether to involve social services or not. I had good arguments for and against and I thought a lot about to what extent I could justify to myself involving a third party and I felt that I could.
Sunday: On Sunday this began to change, as I couldn’t really remember the feeling I had on Thursday anymore. I really didn’t have a clue about what I would talk about with the DV services on Wednesday. The kids was at my parent’s house so we worked on home projects the whole weekend. I was very guarded as usual nowadays, but I was slowly beginning to open up and be myself to her again. She had been calm, social and loving towards me the whole weekend, very uncommon, although some small manipulations was constant, such as her telling me facts about my sexuality, that I’m like her and have been trying to be someone I’m not.
Monday morning: She woke me up a few minutes before my alarm, VERY angry all of a sudden. She wanted me to explain and tell her the truth about some of the early betrayals in our relationship. I tried to say what she wanted me to say, so I could just go to work and find myself again, but it’s impossible for me to know what she wants to hear, I never seem to remember the exact story she needs to soothe. She scratched me quite violently on the neck and my face, which left marks. She knew I had to take S5 to daycare so she kind of let it go a while after that and told me to text her during the day.

So now I’m back to feeling a bit like on Thursday, I just want to show her that I’m confident and start separation, and I don’t care much about how she will react to that. But I know I won't feel like that later if she’s friendly…


Hopefully writing this will sort it out a little for me.
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« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2022, 03:20:12 AM »

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/trauma-bonding

Does this fit your feelings?

What would you say to a family member or friend if they was in your position?

Keep a journal at work when things are awful write it down so you don't forget.

The being kind after the fact is another cycle and also places a calm in you/but still anxiously waiting for the next time.

What would you think if Your wife didn't have a medical condition.... would you think it is OK to feel like this?

There's a Book by a Pat craven that can help with emotional aspect and how to start seeing what your in with pros/cons.

You are doing great at trying to work it out but when we are in the situation we take the blame/ and don't really see it untill your out how on edge and nervous you may be.

Have you had any counselling?

Take care
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2022, 06:07:21 AM »


It does, it's not an aha-moment as I've already known this for some time, but it still feels nice to read. It's wierd, I know about the trauma bond, I can look at it from a semi-neutral perspective, but even so I still experience the trauma bond characteristics. Am hoping that this is part of the exit-trauma bond process.


What would you say to a family member or friend if they was in your position?

I'm so aware of abusive relationships now that I would probably just say that I'm open to listening without judgement. Have actually been thinking a lot about if I should contact a person I know is being isolated. I wouldn't urge him to flee, but to talk.

Keep a journal at work when things are awful write it down so you don't forget.

I am keeping a journal, have been for over a year, so I can check up on details, dates and stats easily. 92 days of physical violence the past 365 days so once every four days on average. 2022 is looking a bit better, 22 days of physical violence, once every sixth day on average. Also, talking to a professional and communicating here is great, I get to notice that I do have things to say even when the relationship is calm, compared to when I kept things to myself and thought that I had nothing to say when things were "great".

The being kind after the fact is another cycle and also places a calm in you/but still anxiously waiting for the next time.

What would you think if Your wife didn't have a medical condition.... would you think it is OK to feel like this?

There's a Book by a Pat craven that can help with emotional aspect and how to start seeing what your in with pros/cons.


What book is it?

You are doing great at trying to work it out but when we are in the situation we take the blame/ and don't really see it untill your out how on edge and nervous you may be.

Have you had any counselling?

Take care

I have professional support.
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2022, 07:05:53 AM »

This:

"I am concerned about the trauma my kids are experiencing when my wife assaults me. If I try to comfort them, she becomes more violent. She attacked me with a screwdriver while I held my son. The safety of my kids is my primary concern."

is different than

"My wife assaults me and I feel afraid of her. She attacked me with a screwdriver after using it to break open the door."

You want to create allies who will advocate for you based on aligned priorities. These are people who may end up becoming third-party professionals who can advocate for you if it comes to that.
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My lawyer once said to me that telling a harrowing tale of abuse at the hands of our spouses can raise questions about our own judgment. If it was that bad, why not ask for help? They want to know that we understood it was bad and then took steps to help protect our kids.


I'm really starting to see this, thanks! It's insane actually that I somehow care more about this grown up child that my wife is than about my own under school age kids.

I think I may have believed my wife's weird  "emotional responsibility" ideas and now that applies to our kids too, she is proud of how responsible they are. It might be a really bad thing...
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2022, 07:14:30 AM »

I’m going to echo Blueberry Cat’s concerns. I thought I was going to be dealing with a rational person, though occasionally violent, in my divorce. He created scenarios that wouldn’t have occurred to me in my wildest imagination. Document, document, document everything you can think of—who bought what, what happened when, etc.

Advice from an attorney is a must.

I will talk this over with my T. It's beginning to sink in that this could be a good idea.
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2022, 07:22:47 AM »


What are your thoughts about the care of your kids if/when you leave? It sounds like you may need a plan for that so you can continue to work.

It's ok to take time and absorb information and do nothing -- it's a lot to take in. Everyone has different emotional capacity and breaking points and sometimes the timing is not quite right. Some couples tolerate these relationships for decades while others not so much. Knowing how things work where you live will help you be prepared and I can't say enough about how much that helped in my own exit.

If you do stay, keep trying to use the communication skills as best you can. They will be good to have in life regardless of what happens in your marriage, and they will help in co-parenting and raising emotionally resilient kids, too.


I will talk about this with my T.

I'm really starting to think the best idea is to leave during a fight, or the next day after a fight is maybe best so I have some time to execute my plan. BUT that plan doesn't exist yet.
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« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2022, 07:28:27 AM »

In this moment (just 8 weeks ago) I thought how will I know if it's gone too far? Am I injured now? Not really. But I could have dropped the baby. He was 4 months old. What age is too old for him to see her punching me? 1 year? 2 years? 5 years? Also, how much physical violence is too much? A small punch? A screwdriver? A knife?

I'm thinking that if I make a plan to leave in a similar situation as you did, it will make the exit more smooth than if I'd a) leave spontaneously like you did, or b) plan an exit and execute it from whatever situation that is going on. The risk is that in that moment she will be calm and loving towards me, and me leaving would seem odd, and I would start to question myself.... So I think planning a spontaneous exit might be worth considering. It's not like I would have to wait for months.
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« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2022, 07:40:51 AM »

You never know precisely what may develop in the future.  What we can predict — unless she starts meaningful therapy and diligently applies it in her life — is that it will gradually get worse and then more worse.  Why?  Because that was your past pattern (and ours too).

Can I ask a question?  Didn't your relationship start relatively well but gradually worsened over the years?  That is precisely why I declared above that it *will* continue getting worse and worse if you continue the relationship.  Learning better communication skill will be helpful but the elephant in the room would still be there.


I somehow thought that things were calming down a bit after the big crisis I somehow induced feb-2021. But now, looking at the stats in my journal, it really only was jan-feb this year that suggested that things were calming down. She has told me over and over again that we're doing better now. I think I may have believed her. And I have felt guilty for not being in love anymore.

Also I read at some american christian site last year that it takes two years for a wife to forgive her husband for betrayals such as watching porn (it seems that is one of the rare resources online that views watching porn as cheating), and that the husband has to do everything to regain trust in that time. And I feel that I haven't done everything. I think that twisted my thoughts a bit. I have been thinking that I have to endure two years and after that I can consider divorce.

Inducing that crisis has been good and bad, I think violence was coming soon because of her rape allegations that I couldn't validate well enough. So the good thing is that the road to violence was faster so I can exit faster too, because she was being abusive before the physical abuse too. The bad thing about it is that I really feel guilty for causing her distress, and I can't know for sure if this is just a phase.
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« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2022, 07:50:06 AM »

Did you get anything recorded? 


I have lots of voice recordings of her raging and beating me. Don't know if it's legal or not to use, and if it could work against me somehow, that I'm secretly recording her, invading her privacy sort of. I have told my T about it and she told me I could play the recordings for her if I want.
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« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2022, 08:00:01 AM »

Journaling is a great idea as the memories of how you feel fade.  This is probably a subconscious protection mechanism. I have found it helpful to refer back to them but it does feel strange when things are calmer.

BPD is cyclical involving ups and downs so I suppose it stands to reason that there are times when things are tolerable (why else would we find ourselves staying for such long periods), but the true test for staying in a relationship should be whether it is tolerable when things are at their worst. Maybe I’m too idealistic but the bad times feel worse and are harder to tolerate in a BPD relationship because of their frequency and severity compared to ‘normal’ relationships.

We are in the same boat as I also have young children. We have to make plans because of that. I’ve made plans to leave based on previous behaviour - it has improved significantly but there is still some evidence of it and I don’t trust her not to revert to that when she feels less vulnerable. It is going to be a hard thing to do as the topic won’t naturally come up like it would if things were at their worst.

On your wife’s physical abuse - I had the same before I shamefully completely lost my temper one night (after repeated switching of lights on to wake me up, name calling and pushing) and came very very close to physical retaliation. My wife was shocked and intimidated. I don’t support violence but it seems to have caused a change in her behaviour - like she took advantage previously of the thought that I wouldn’t fight back. Have you ever got to that stage?
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You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2022, 09:01:21 AM »

This is important:  Whatever you did wrong is not considered abuse (maybe of her feelings) but that is not illegal.  That is no excuse for her reacting abusively.  "The road to violence was faster" but the BPD pattern is that violence (and other poor behaviors) would have developed anyway.

What would you say to a family member or friend if they were in your position?

This question is intended for you, not just how you might listen to others.  It is to teach the difference between objectivity versus subjectivity.  You are the one in the midst of family strife and worse.  It's hard to identify what's happening and it is far too easy to get accustomed to it.  But if you're on the outside (looking in on the poor behaviors) but not subjected to them, it is easier to be objective about what is happening.

Actually, that's one of the benefits of counseling, the counselor is trained to be objective and help guide you to awareness of reality and enlighten you to what corrective action needs to be taken.  They can't do the work for you but you can be educated and guided.  (Just like here in peer support.)

I have lots of voice recordings of her raging and beating me. Don't know if it's legal or not to use, and if it could work against me somehow, that I'm secretly recording her, invading her privacy sort of.

Overall, recordings are legal and ethical if it is done to document that abuse is occurring.  Maybe a counselor or lawyer could advise you whether there are any downsides or whether any particular recording is problematic.

You don't have to say your only concern is for the children.  As LivednLearned wrote, phrase it as your primary concern.  You can state it is for the children and you, just put the emphasis on the children since the system cares more for the welfare of minors than for the welfare of adults.

One problem may be if you have years of recordings of abuse.  The question you'd have to answer is, why did you wait so long, especially with the exposure to the children?  It's okay to say it took you a while to recognize it for what it is, and thanks to your counselor for helping you gather the strength to end it.

Have you read about Stockholm Syndrome where hostages will over time side with and protect their abductors?  Ponder that... could that be why have you been so influenced and pressured to put your spouse above all else?
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« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2022, 11:36:36 AM »

Having tried to protect my abusive ex for a number of years, I have to ask—has anything you’ve done over the time you’ve been together actually helped her to be a better person? It sounds like she’s getting worse.

Attacking you with a screwdriver while holding your child—so many things could have gone dreadfully wrong at that point and thankfully they didn’t…but what about the next time? And you know there will be a next time.

Many times how we are trying to *help* is actually not help at all but enabling and we are enabling them to be more and more abusive of us because we didn’t call out or put a stop to the lesser forms of abuse. Once someone abuses another, it becomes easier and easier to do that as a behavioral choice. And it is a choice she makes every time she assaults you.

Physical abuse every four or six days is NOT NORMAL in a relationship. This is like being in prison and I think many prison inmates do not experience the regular physical abuse that you’ve been experiencing. I’m saying this because you’ve lost perspective, having been victimized for so many years.
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« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2022, 03:06:46 PM »

I'm thinking that if I make a plan to leave in a similar situation as you did, it will make the exit more smooth than if I'd a) leave spontaneously like you did, or b) plan an exit and execute it from whatever situation that is going on. The risk is that in that moment she will be calm and loving towards me, and me leaving would seem odd, and I would start to question myself.... So I think planning a spontaneous exit might be worth considering. It's not like I would have to wait for months.

It's admirable that you recognize how your emotions work in response to her rage cycles, and that you know that adrenaline will help you exit.

Do you feel that you'll have the right kind of support system in place once you leave? Your emotions will likely be all over the place even after you exit. It might be a good idea to have someone take your phone and paraphrase messages for you.

It can be hard to give up the dream that things will get better, that these relationships can be somehow transformed.
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« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2022, 03:20:57 PM »

It can be hard to give up the dream that things will get better, that these relationships can be somehow transformed.

... or managed.  <-- That's been strategy thus far and here you are realizing it didn't really help much at all.
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« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2022, 05:30:18 AM »

I've been observing my own emotions a lot lately.

First, I'm not in love, calm periods don't make me like her more, at least not the first week, and longer periods than that is very rare.

Second, I'm grieving this relationship, I get more sad than angry as time goes by. I don't think I can rush this but I have never felt like this before. I think it stems from me being realistic and letting go of hope that things will get better (or that I can manage her), and also that I notice how little she notices and cares who I am.
The transformation of my feelings this last year has been:
Scared - angry - sad ---> acceptance
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« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2022, 05:32:51 AM »

Having tried to protect my abusive ex for a number of years, I have to ask—has anything you’ve done over the time you’ve been together actually helped her to be a better person? It sounds like she’s getting worse.

Attacking you with a screwdriver while holding your child—so many things could have gone dreadfully wrong at that point and thankfully they didn’t…but what about the next time? And you know there will be a next time.

Many times how we are trying to *help* is actually not help at all but enabling and we are enabling them to be more and more abusive of us because we didn’t call out or put a stop to the lesser forms of abuse. Once someone abuses another, it becomes easier and easier to do that as a behavioral choice. And it is a choice she makes every time she assaults you.

Physical abuse every four or six days is NOT NORMAL in a relationship. This is like being in prison and I think many prison inmates do not experience the regular physical abuse that you’ve been experiencing. I’m saying this because you’ve lost perspective, having been victimized for so many years.

You're so right. I really have to start thinking forward more and not just here and now. How do I stop following my emotions and instead use them to lead my logical choices...
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« Reply #48 on: May 17, 2022, 06:09:55 AM »

Trauma Bonding: Understanding and Overcoming the Traumatic Bond in a Narcissistic Relationship by Lauren Kozlowski

this book helps overcome with trauma Bonding.

then by pat craven  is Freedoms flowers the effects of domestic abuse on children and it is helpful in the perspective that at somepoint your children will go through  these thoughts feelings etc. and what a difference calmness can be.

Home Study Course for Men How Hard Can It Be?

by Pat Craven

On the site I PV you yesterday there is an online programme that might benefit you, For the shame and feeling guilty.

without your wife having years and years of treatment and sticking to it and you enabling her doing it she will only get worse as much as you feel guilty.

 I had a quick exit plan and a plan for after I kept everything I needed to in a folder all official documents of mine and my children's in case I needed and need to get out quickly as possible and had everything I needed and kept it somewhere away from home but I could collect it.

Catfamiliar I agree with it is not normal for a relationship with violence and it is her choice to behave that way.


Why should you for guilty for not loving someone?
 all realtionships can break down or people grow apart.

I'm not sure it takes to years to forgive if you are making a choice to forgive you forgive them or atleast I do.

You said you was expecting the violence so you know she would make that choice to behave that way. She may have blamed you for something but that doesn't mean you should be treated that way that is her own actions. She could even be blaming you for something has hasn't occurred either but you will feel guilty because she made you feel that way perhaps?

So do you think is if she stopped with the emotional abuse/ physical abuse if she did everything she could, would it take 2 years to trust?

I don't think that would happen unless she has alot of therapy herself.

My ex partner got his diagnosis and was put on cbt and medication but quit after 3 weeks because he didn't like the side effects then they was changed then he didnt like having no big highs he would rather had very up and down.

 I realised it was never going to be normal and at best tolerable but accepting that was alot harder to achieve with bpd it's not just a phase it is a life pattern for them and can get worse but can get better with the right treatment but will still not be ever a good normal. Then from that I had been blamed for the violence, then it was he had to much to drink for the last reasoning was because his diagnosis gave him an excuse to do it. There will be a reason and answers and apologies but it would of continued the same as it was his choice to do it.  

at the moment you put her feelings first then the children then yours.

what would it possibly look like if yours was first then the kids and then hers?

I enabled my partner it continued then when I rang the police and got out quickly then listened to his persuading argument that it was not that bad or just a accident  I tried again and he showed love and caring and even some understanding at that point but it took 7 days before the violence started again. I hurt his feelings because I wanted to go to sleep so I tried validation I'm sorry, I want to go to bed early tonight but I will stay up with you tomorrow. I went to bed he felt I betrayed him and woke me up at 1am with abuse. he chose to do that.

breaking the bond was the hardest to me  but it can be done.















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« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2022, 06:21:50 AM »

You're so right. I really have to start thinking forward more and not just here and now. How do I stop following my emotions and instead use them to lead my logical choices...

Is it your emotions your following or is it your Wife's?

if you sat with your therapist what would you tell them or what your thinking and feeling? what emotions are you feeling without concentrating on your wifes... ?

they can help you come to terms with is and help you come to terms with looking logically and work through it.
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« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2022, 07:23:31 AM »


at the moment you put her feelings first then the children then yours.

what would it possibly look like if yours was first then the kids and then hers?


Emotionally I care less and less about her feelings, I'm mostly afraid of the consequences. So I guess I prioritize her feelings to be able to keep things stable. As soon as she's calm I'm off to take care of myself and with the children I kind of multitask and take care of them and her or them and me.

For example, I arrived home quite early yesterday because she told me she wanted to talk about something. I sat there for 1-2 hours with S5 watching TV and S2 sleeping. I would have loved to sit down with him for a while, but I didn't.

How do I put my feelings first when most of my feelings revolve around her.

Good to hear your story, I'm glad you were able to break that bond. I think I'm getting there.
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« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2022, 08:48:36 PM »

You have done well to identify your feelings as scared-angry-sad-acceptance.
How do you stop following your feelings?
Channel the part of you that recognizes the injustice of how you (and your children) are being mistreated.
Make no mistake, when she physically abuses you in the presence of your children without regard for their physical or emotional safety, she is mistreating them.
If a stranger attacked you while holding your child, how would you feel? How would you react?
It may help for you to sit down with your T (or here on the boards, or both) and walk through the logistics of a plan to leave in the middle or directly after a huge blowup, and a plan to leave when things are calm. It may also help to strategize ways to keep yourself and the kids as safe as possible during an attack.
Did you take pictures of the scratches?
As Cat said, the level of violence you have experienced is intense. 22 days this year and the year is not half over. That is over three weeks of straight physical assault. Think about the average person. Does the average person suffer a physical attack once a day for three weeks straight?
What about last year? That's over 1/4 of the year. How many people suffer physical attacks 1/4 of the days out of the total year?
How do you overcome your emotions? Tell yourself you are justified in protecting yourself and your children, even if there is not a threat in the present moment. At this rate, there will be an attack again soon.
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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2022, 08:08:51 AM »

I touched on these two thoughts earlier in this thread.

1) What level of violence is too much?

Be specific when you think about this. Obviously it's somewhere between "screwdriver attack" and death, because you can't really draw a line after that. Once you've clarified what your violence boundary is - would you recommend this same boundary to your friends? Is this the boundary you would want your children to have later in life? You may find the boundary has already been crossed.

2) What age would you NOT want your child to see you being attacked as you are now? (verbally or physically)

If you had an adult child - say 30 years old - would they be ok seeing this kind of fighting? If it's ok now at 2/5 years, what age will you draw a line to stop this from happening in front of them?


I don't have the exact answers myself, and every situation is different. I'm just saying that when I wrote down these answers for myself, my original answers seemed absurd to me, and I realized I was already past my limits.
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« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2022, 06:48:33 AM »

Answers in red font:
You have done well to identify your feelings as scared-angry-sad-acceptance.
How do you stop following your feelings?

Channel the part of you that recognizes the injustice of how you (and your children) are being mistreated.
Make no mistake, when she physically abuses you in the presence of your children without regard for their physical or emotional safety, she is mistreating them.
True, my plan now is to push forward and plan the break up with my T and here, no matter how I feel. IF I change my mind, it will have to be based on more permanent feelings. Planning isn't the same as doing it, but it might change my perspective and make me less anxious.
If a stranger attacked you while holding your child, how would you feel? How would you react?
I get your point here, I have to stop excusing her just because I know her and care about her. There is no trust between us when she physically attacks me so I don't need to treat her any different than I would treat a stranger.
It may help for you to sit down with your T (or here on the boards, or both) and walk through the logistics of a plan to leave in the middle or directly after a huge blowup, and a plan to leave when things are calm. It may also help to strategize ways to keep yourself and the kids as safe as possible during an attack.
I think I'll start another thread here and discuss my plan
Did you take pictures of the scratches?
Not really, I took a picture now on my work phone, just in case. Will start to do that from now on IF I get more bruises and scratches.
As Cat said, the level of violence you have experienced is intense. 22 days this year and the year is not half over. That is over three weeks of straight physical assault. Think about the average person. Does the average person suffer a physical attack once a day for three weeks straight?
What about last year? That's over 1/4 of the year. How many people suffer physical attacks 1/4 of the days out of the total year?
True, it's quite extreme, and add to that days without physical violence that instead had some serious verbal and psychological abuse, and manipulation.
How do you overcome your emotions? Tell yourself you are justified in protecting yourself and your children, even if there is not a threat in the present moment. At this rate, there will be an attack again soon.
I think working at my break up plan could possibly make my emotions more stable. Knowledge is power and reduces anxiety. Uncertainty does the opposite.


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« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2022, 07:05:41 AM »

I touched on these two thoughts earlier in this thread.

1) What level of violence is too much?

Be specific when you think about this. Obviously it's somewhere between "screwdriver attack" and death, because you can't really draw a line after that. Once you've clarified what your violence boundary is - would you recommend this same boundary to your friends? Is this the boundary you would want your children to have later in life? You may find the boundary has already been crossed.

2) What age would you NOT want your child to see you being attacked as you are now? (verbally or physically)

If you had an adult child - say 30 years old - would they be ok seeing this kind of fighting? If it's ok now at 2/5 years, what age will you draw a line to stop this from happening in front of them?


I don't have the exact answers myself, and every situation is different. I'm just saying that when I wrote down these answers for myself, my original answers seemed absurd to me, and I realized I was already past my limits.

Thank you for this comment, it kind of sounds funny when written out like it is. Yes, obviously my line is somewhere between "screwdriver attack" and death. I will try this exercise, I think I'm currently crossing over to the realization that my limit has already been crossed.

2) What age would you NOT want your child to see you being attacked as you are now? (verbally or physically)
I'm quite sure that I wouldn't want it happening ever again with them being in the same home...
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